Side Effects of Avoiding Negative Emotions

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (12)

Do you typically avoid negative emotions or embrace them? Embracing your feelings is a good thing. It helps you to build a healthy relationship with yourself by validating and allowing yourself to feel. Of course, not every feeling needs to be acted upon especially if you find yourself repeating unhealthy behaviours. However, avoiding any negative emotions is an act of violence against your well-being.

I often see that people conflating emotions outside of joy as being a bad thing. In my opinion, I believe that this is undermining and dismissive. It also shames people for feeling genuine emotions over real-life situations. As much as you may do your absolute best to feel great all the time, you are going to have crappy days. That doesn’t make you a negative person. Embracing your feelings and accepting them is a sign of emotional maturity. It demonstrates that you are validating your emotional experience.

Problem with emotional avoidance:

  • The feelings you suppress come out later in life as unaddressed pain
  • You may find yourself experiencing random outburst of sadness
  • You may subconsciously project your negative feelings onto others
  • You may be avoiding finding solutions to your problems

When you approach negative feelings with ‘stay positive’ rhetoric, you end up preventing yourself from feeling your feelings. Behind your emotions may be unaddressed pain that manifests emotions like sadness, anger, etc. When you don’t allow yourself to uncover the truth behind your feelings, thoughts, and actions, you distract yourself from doing necessary healing work.

Additionally, I am a firm believer that you can’t fool the universe. What you avoid will always find a way to confront you eventually. Your negative feelings can manifest in the people you attract, the situations you find yourself in and so forth. Wouldn’t you rather deal with the temporary discomfort of your feelings instead of taking months/ years to clean up the damage caused by suppressing your feelings? I would choose the first option!

Here are some tips on how to deal with your emotions:

  • Learn to hold yourself when feeling low- What would you say to a child who’s feeling low? You wouldn’t shut them down by saying ‘stay positive’ (well I hope not). You would try to affirm them maybe by saying that ‘it’s okay to be sad, but things will be okay’. Learn to comfort yourself just like you would to a child and assure yourself that things are going to be okay.
  • Breathe- Do some breathing techniques to calm yourself down. You could try the 4-7-8 breathing rule or any other ones that you may find useful.
  • Journal- Write about how you are feeling. Focus on writing down the situation and emotions that cropped up for you. Then write down what methods you can try to make yourself feel better.
  • Remind yourself of your values- If you haven’t already, write down your values. Are your actions/emotions currently in alignment with the type of person you want to be? This helps you to put things into perspective and reminds you that in the longer-term certain emotions shall pass.

Life comes in cycles. We must become comfortable in seeing our life that way. Some days are harder than others but that’s life. We truly need to have moments of sadness so we can understand and appreciate life and its joys. Acceptance is where you become emotionally healthy and therefore practice self-validation.

A question to you:

Do you avoid negative emotions or embrace them?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Much Love, Ash xx

25 responses to “Side Effects of Avoiding Negative Emotions”

  1. Hii Ash 😊 no I also don’t hide or avoid my negative emotions because expressing is more important in our lives whether it’s a negative or positive. If I feel like to cry, I do, if I feel like to be sad or angry I do. I believe in embracing all the emotions of me as better to be imperfectly perfect 😊 nice and amazing post 👌👌

    1. Hey Neha! That’s so refreshing to hear that you allow yourself to feel your feelings. It’s so important and yes we are imperfectly perfect. Thank you so much and glad you can stop by 🙂 <3

      1. Stay blessed and happy always 💓

  2. I do a bit of both, persons I know and if they like to beat a dead horse too much, I may avoid the negative emotions in a n effort to steer clear of trouble, sometimes I am just not in the mood or too tired to fight.
    I really enjoy confronting emotions in a positive way, with dialogue, so if I have a reasonable participant I may indulge. It depends on several factors.
    Thought provoking post. Great post.

    1. I love this approach! That’s what it’s about really, at least acknowledging how we feel as opposed to preventing it doesn’t exist. Then when we’ve acknowledge how we feel, we can work on confronting them by putting things into perspective. Thank you for engaging and I appreciate it <3

      1. Great topic.

    1. It’s so important right!! <3

      1. It is. I plan to share something about how I learned to feel my feels a little later this year. It’s really changed how I move through the world.

  3. As the eternal pessimist, I just bottle them up till I’m ready to spread joy and positivity.

    Sometimes my escape is channeling that energy into putting a smile on the next persons face

  4. Great question, Ash! When I’m troubled by disturbing emotions, I pretty much always turn to prayer. God is such an amazing listener! Once I’ve poured out my heart to Him, He fills me with peace and joy once again. It’s not always right away though, but I keep pressing through until He’s moved me into that place again.

    1. Lovely! It’s so powerful how you know what to do to uplift your spirits & gain the clarity you need. Sometimes surrendering is the best thing we can do. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are keeping safe 💗

      1. You are welcome, Ash! And yes! Surrender is such a vulnerable yet beautiful position!

  5. Great question, Ash! When I’m troubled by disturbing emotions, I pretty much always turn to prayer. God is such an amazing listener! Once I’ve poured out my heart to Him, He fills me with peace and joy once again. It’s not always right away though, but I keep pressing through until He’s moved me into that place again.

  6. I love that you used the word “perspective” (obviously a favorite word of mine. 😉 )
    I recognize negative emotions, and I don’t particularly enjoy them, but I know that they can communicate important truths to me. Is God convicting me of sin in my life? I’d better pay attention and repent (or as my GPS says, “Turn around when possible”).
    On the other hand, am I on a mission, and the enemy of my soul is trying to derail me with fear or anger?
    I find that staying connected with God and studying the Bible daily helps me to discern truth from lies. That way I can make use of the constructive negative emotions and at the same time avoid dwelling on and wallowing in the destructive ones.

    1. I love this! It’s so good that connect with God to help you discern truth from lies. Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether some emotions need analysis or whether they are distractions. I think having time to meditate, pray, sit with yourself allows you to know the difference. I’m glad you think this way. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are saying safe 💗

  7. “… having time to meditate, pray, sit with yourself ” – exactly! That has been the silver lining in this quarantine situation. You stay safe, too! <3

    1. Exactly! This period can help us to get in touch with ourselves if we allow it to. Thank you for reading, I hope you are doing well& staying safe 💗😊

  8. You good Ash?

    1. Hello! I am good thank you- keeping safe and self-isolating. How are you? I hope you and the family are safe 🙂 <3

  9. Naturally, I find it difficult to avoid negative emotions. For example, I find it hard to suppress my annoyances or grievances.I like to discuss how bad I feel about things done to me, that’s the only way I feel better.

    1. I’m the exact same! That’s why I think for people who have a hard time with it, it’s good to start with accepting how we feel and allowing it to naturally pass through us. Resistance is where it can become exhausting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts ☺️

      1. You’re welcome😊

  10. Supressing emotions is never good – as you said it can explode in unexpected circumstances. We need to be consciously processing our emotions so that we control them and not the other way around. ❤️

    1. Exactly! So important that we allow ourselves to feel our feelings. What we don’t address gets suppressed. Thank you for reading this and have a great day 💜

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